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The Stairways at Adelaide Drive in Santa Monica: Why Are They Such An Issue?

April 19, 2009

On Adelaide Drive in Santa Monica, locals exercising on two public stairways are stretching the patience of homeowners.  The two stairways in question provide stairsteppers 350 easily accessible stairs and plenty of free parking.  Especially within the last 15 years, the stairs have grown in popularity but some local residents complain that people who use them and the grassy median on nearby 4th Avenue are not considerate of their neighbors.

Despite these issues, Adelaide Drive is, according to local real estate agent Kate Bransfield, still the most sought after street on which to live in Santa Monica ahead of Georgina Avenue.

To really become better informed about this issue, view the video below.

Some of the alternative public stairways in Santa Monica can be found below.  While all of the options might work for local stairsteppers, none offer regular free parking or quite as many stairs as at Adelaide Drive.

In October 2008, the city of Santa Monica received more than 350 responses to a survey of residents near the stairs, asking what they think should be done about the use of the grassy median and public stairs for exercise activity.  Click on the Wordle link below, which arranges some of the survey’s responses according to the number of times people used the word.  As you can see, a number of residents suggested the city post more visible signs asking locals using the space to be respectful of their neighbors.

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Now it’s your turn.

I hope you have a much better understanding of the stairs in Santa Monica and the issues surrounding them.  There are a number of different directions you can go from here:

  • City of Santa Monica survey results — View the results of the survey that became the Wordle you see above.
  • KNBC’s Segment on the Unwritten Stair Rules — A fun video about how to walk the stairs and not irritate all the regular stairsteppers around you.
  • CBS Evening News — The stairs have made it to the local nightly TV newscast, NPR and the CBS Evening News.  Note that CBS violates one of the Unwritten Stair Rules in a journalist stand-up toward the end.
  • Yelp Reviews — As of this writing, there are 83 reviews on Yelp on the stairs.
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